“Learning to love my body for what it can do and to embrace the so-called flaws that makes it unique is one of the greatest lessons Divine has taught me.”
Miss February 2018: Chantelle
Occupation: Tech Recruiter
Your motto or favorite quote: Beauty is found in unexpected places. Sometimes, you just need to look for it.
How long have you been pole dancing at Divine? Almost exactly 2 years!
Did you have any previous dance or fitness training before starting pole? I did ballet growing up for about 10 years. You may have seen me in PNB’s The Nutcracker.
What made you decide to take pole dancing classes? I stopped taking ballet classes in high school when I realized that I wasn’t going to be a professional ballerina (wrong feet, wrong body, limited career path, etc.) As I got older, I found that there weren’t many dance class options for adults and I eventually just stopped dancing. When I came across the Groupon deal for Divine, my heart lit up. I feel so thankful to have dance back in my life. I didn’t realize how much my body craved movement until I was back in the studio.
Favorite class? (spins, inversions, or boudoir), and why? Spins is my comfort zone class and inversions is my challenge class. I thrive on the technical instruction and love seeing myself improve every week.
What is it that you LOVE about pole dancing at Divine? The promotion of self-love. Ballet is beautiful, but it is also based on seeking perfection – an unattainable goal that has caused many dancers to develop unhealthy body images and eating disorders. People ask me if I can see any physical changes in my body since I started pole dancing and I can say a little bit here and there, but mostly, the WAY I see myself is what really changed. Learning to love my body for what it can do and to embrace the so-called flaws that makes it unique is one of the greatest lessons Divine has taught me.
Platforms or legwarmers? Legwarmers forever and ever, amen.
What are you currently working on technically? Combo 2 in basic inversions.
What are you working on artistically? Turning my brain off, letting go, and following my body.
What is your favorite move? Cradle spin.
What is in your pole bag (ex: grip aid, journal, etc)? Knee pads, leg warmers, water bottle, and Dry Hands.
Do you have a favorite song to pole dance to? Bound to You by Christina Aguilera always gets me going.
We LOVE music at Divine. What 3 songs would be featured on the soundtrack to YOUR life, and why?
1. Brave, Honest, Beautiful by Fifth Harmony – This is my go-to song when life is hard and I’m doubting myself. It’s my own personal reminder to be proud of who I am.
2. Cherry Blossom by Horrorshow – This song always reminds me of my wonderful husband and the love we share. It shoots an arrow straight to my heart every time. <3
3. Rules of Beautiful by Jacob Whitesides – This song has Divine written all over it. It’s about re-writing the rules of what it means to be beautiful and loving yourself for who you are, not who you think you’re supposed to be.
Guilty pleasure: Eating junk food and binge watching Gilmore Girls.
Any inspirational advice you would like to share with new polers? Seek progress, not perfection. I think back to my 101 classes and how I thought that climbing was just flat out impossible. But when I kept up with it and came back week after week, I started to see myself improve. My body was figuring it out, developing muscle memory, building strength. And then one day, everything just clicked. These moves are REALLY hard, so give yourself time and trust your body. It’ll come!